Washing Clothes In Cold Water: Pros and Cons

It’s a debate whether you should wash your clothes in hot water or cold water. Whenever there’s confusion you must go for the expert’s opinion. Experts can also be divided into two. 

Here is the case; hot water is the best solution for some particular kinds of stains and for sanitizing your bed sheets or towels. But it can cost you so much money. And cold water is the best washing trick for your garments. Actually, cold water can remove stains and dirt from most fabrics. Cold water doesn’t hurt the fibers of your clothes. Laundry in cold water can save you almost $100 annually and it doesn’t release carbon dioxide into the environment.

Here we will be discussing myths about laundry in cold water, the benefits, and drawbacks of washing clothes in cold water, and whether you should choose hot water or cold water for your laundry.

Washing Clothes In Cold Water: Pros and Cons

The myth 

You might have heard your mom or granny saying cold water is not good for cleaning stains. In the past, people believed this statement. But for this world which is running so fast, it is proven, that cold water is worthy for stains no matter heavy or light.

In the Australian region, 60% of the population loads washers with hot water. But in the US the percentage is lower. Around 40% of the population uses cold water for their laundry. But in most cases, you will find people using both hot and cold water for laundry and it’s a perfect way. But you must know where to use hot water and when cold water is enough.

Don’t misunderstand us as we are not saying hot water is superior to cold water for washing your clothes. But sometimes using warm water is more appropriate. Oil stains are best treated when they are washed in hot water. Blood stains and enzyme stains can be perfectly washed out only by loading cold water into the washing machine. Hot water will only make this type of stain worse. And hot water can ruin your delicate fabric.

So it’s clear that loading the washer with cold water is the safest bet you can play no matter whether you are hand washing or using tools.

How to wash clothes in cold water

Washing clothes in cold water is not a hard task yet you need to know the right procedure. Here we are giving you a clear idea of washing clothes in cold water.



  1. Fill your bucket or clothes washer with enough water so that your clothes can easily cover.
  2. Then add powder laundry detergent to the water. A laundry pod can be a good alternative for laundry detergent. You can use fabric softener if needed.
  3. Now before putting your clothes in the washing machine or bucket distinguish them depending on their color. The dark color and light color garments cannot be washed together as dark clothes might lose dyes when washed.
  4. After finishing, sink your clothes in the bucket. If you are using a washing machine be careful about not overloading the washer.
  5. If you are using a cloth washer, set low heat and your desired time cycle. Now it’s ready for washing. After the cycle is finished, let the clothes soak for at least 15-20minutes. If you are hand washing, you need to soak your clothes before rubbing them.
  6. Rinse your clothes properly so that no signs of soap can be found and then you can put your clothes on a clothesline to air dry them.
  7. The washer-dryer combo can help you dry your clothes faster but it is better to not use a dryer. It will be best for you to air dry your clothes.

Pros And Cons Of Washing Clothes In Cold Water

Washing your dirty laundry is a daily household chore. You better know the pros and cons of having cold water wash and it can be the trick for all your laundry problems.


1. Energy Saviour 

When you use cold water for washing your clothes you don’t need extra energy to heat up the water. Water heating costs 70-73% of the energy of laundry. Up to 85% of energy can be consumed by a washer to reach the temperature for a hot wash cycle.

You can set the temperature around 55 degrees Fahrenheit on your washing machine or washer-dryer combo. It will consume less energy. Cold water saves more energy than warm water.

2. Perfect stain remover 

Stains are common on the garments. It can come from anywhere. It is not necessary you use warm water to remove the stains. Cold water wash is the right technique for washing out tough stains.

Most laundry detergents are formulated to work best in cold water these days. Your food stains like sausage, wine, or some curry can be washed easily by adding powder laundry detergent or laundry pods in cold water. For removing blood stains and body stains from your clothes cold water is superior.

3. Fabric friendly 

Cold water is a friend of your clothes because it doesn’t react with the dyes of the item. Delicate fabrics and sensitive fabrics should be hand washed with mild laundry detergent. You can use your washer with some caution but you can never use warm water.

If you do so your clothes can lose their shape. Hot water causes fabrics to shrink. So for a safe and perfect laundry choosing cold water is the best idea as it will help your garment to retain its original color and shape.

4. Nature friendly

Laundry detergents are mostly made of different kinds of chemicals. In the past laundry detergents were for the hot wash cycle in the washing machine. This process produces too much carbon dioxide and it mixes with the environment. But modern laundry detergents consist of long polymers derived from enzymes.

They are specifically formulated to give their best performance when you are using a cold wash cycle or cold water while hand washing. This process doesn’t produce carbon dioxide or any toxic chemicals. Therefore cold water is ecology friendly.

5. Saves money

Reports say An American family spends $800-$900 per year on their laundry. What cost them so much? It can’t be the powder laundry detergent. Actually, it is the hot wash cycle that consumes more energy to heat up the water they loaded. More energy means more electricity and the electricity bill will increase and there is no one but you to pay the penalty.

Cold water is very good for washing clothes and removing stains. It will not ruin your garments. So why do you have to heat up the water and spend money for no reason? You just use cold water, have perfect laundry, and save approximately $60-80 per year.


1. Poor germ killer

Cold water is not good at killing germs in your clothes. Workout clothes, underwear, and surgical suits should be washed in warm water for perfect sanitation with mild laundry detergent.

Bed sheets and towels are very heavy fabrics and they get dirty soon. They contain various types of germs and sometimes they can be the cause of very serious diseases. If you use cold water for sanitizing your towels or bed sheets you will not be happy with the results.

2. Fails to remove oil stain

As we said, cold water is worthy of most fabrics and stains. But for oil stains, warm water is the best solution. Experts say cold water fails to remove oil stains.

If you accidentally got an oil stain on your delicate fabric and you cannot load it in the washer with hard water use cold water. Just apply pre-treatment to have the best result. And the good news is hot water can make a stain worse but cold water will never do so.

3. Not for wool or Denim fabrics 

Cold water is perfect for synthetic fabrics like nylon or polyester because high heat melts them. Though when it comes to cleaning your dirty knit clothes you better use warm water. Wool and jeans are always needed to be washed in a warm wash cycle for perfect laundry as they are coarser fabrics and weaved especially.

4. Longer wash cycle 

It is scientifically proven that cold water is better at removing tough stains than hot water. Although sometimes it’s hard to get rid of dirt by cold water wash. A longer wash cycle can do the trick though.

Hot Water Vs Cold Water Washing

“Cold” water isn’t really cold since washers add a little boiling water to make it warm enough to properly dissolve cleaner. If your clothing has bright, vivid colors, washing it in chilly water will help prevent colors from fading and running, which could happen in hotter temps. It will also prevent those bright colors from blurring. To reduce shrinking, items made with launderable fleece should also be washed in cold water. In any case, for your washer to effectively clean your really soiled clothes, you may need to splash them first or set up a longer wash cycle.

If your clothing is severely destroyed, hot water will be better than other temperatures at removing soil. Additionally, it generally works, but not in all situations. It is generally recommended to use warm water when washing white clothing, especially when handling underwear and clothes. Why? Since dish towels, washcloths, bedding, and diapers are supposed to be thoroughly sanitized by boiling water.

But whatever you do, keep your whites together and your light and dark tones separate. Otherwise, the colors might bleed into one another.

Caution: Must check the care label cautiously. It will clear all your doubts about whether to use cold or warm water. If the tag says dry clean only don’t panic cause you can still wash them with cold water in low heat.

Final Words

Hot water is specialized for sanitizing your clothes by killing germs and removing oil stains. But using hot water costs more of your money, harms the environment and sometimes can ruin your clothes. Cold water is not the same as it is environment-friendly and perfect stain remover. Most importantly it will never damage a yarn of your clothe and save you money.

By taking all the facts into consideration you might need to wash your dirty clothes with hot water but not in every case. In general cold water is the best way for washing your clothes. So if you want your clothes to last long with their original outlook you should always go for cold water washing.

Read More Washing and Cloth Care Article On:

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2 thoughts on “Washing Clothes In Cold Water: Pros and Cons”

  1. I’ve used only cold for 20+ years. No issues with stains. I pretreat the same as when I did use hot. Clothes always look and smell clean. My washer can’t add a little hot because the hot water line to the laundry room is valves off. Twice a year I fill the washer, add a cup of bleach, leave overnight.


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